Change Through New Practices
Updated: Mar 24
May 8, 2020
I decided to write this post because in the past few years I added daily practices that have made a big impact on my work and personal life. I'm sharing this post because it's information I wish I had seen many years ago and I think it may be of interest to you like it was to me.
The first practice I added to my day was mindfulness. I practice mindfulness in the mornings or when I have a problem and am not sure of what to do. I sit quietly, focus on my senses, and if a thought pops into my mind, I let it pass by and focus on one of my senses. There are various forms of mindfulness, but this one is simple and effective for me. We're so used to letting thoughts consume our minds, but the goal here is to completely clear your mind. And when it's cleared, insights and ideas pop in and it's easier to solve problems and take the best next steps. Reducing mind clutter takes practice but is worth the effort. Quietening the mind brings clarity. It is powerful, and has been a game changer for me. And i find that when I practice mindfulness I am peaceful and have more energy.
Practicing mindfulness daily has really exercised and strengthened my awareness muscle. I am more aware of whats going on both internally and externally, and I show up to work and personal life differently. I'm more centered, calm, and creative. And life feels easier. Mindfulness has so many other benefits too. Did you know that a consistent mindfulness practice can changes genes, and it also lays the foundation for what I discuss next, which is navigating thought life effectively.
Mindfulness and increased awareness has helped me to reduce overthinking. I am more aware of when unhelpful thoughts pop in, and this has allowed me to make some important changes to the way approach conversations and decisions. When I wasn't fully aware of my conditioned thought processes, negative or fear-based thoughts prevented me from being present. Conditioned thought patterns keep us thinking about the past or worrying about the future and stops us from focusing on the moment that's in front of us, which is where we do our best work and really enjoy life. Once I learned to recognize when unhelpful thought patterns were at play and attend to the thoughts in a productive way by being curious and asking the right questions, worried, fearful, judgmental, and distracting thoughts I had about myself or others were reduced. Now, I am able to connect with others at a deeper level and interact in more effective ways. Recognizing and working on thoughts is a really simple but powerful tool.
For me, thought life and understanding conditioned thought processes also made a big impact on my stress level and wellbeing. Toxic thoughts are the root cause of many issues at work and in personal life. These types of thoughts made me stay in high stress mode for a long time (we're talking years), eventually impacted my immune system, and I ended up getting sick. Learning how to view and process thoughts differently helped get me to reduce stress and overcome thyroid and lyme disease. It was amazing to realize that I had the tools to make powerful changes. I went from feeling exhausted and unsure of how to reduce stress so I could recover, to participating in my own recovery. A new thought life was the key to change for me, and was the foundation for improving each aspect of my life.
Each part of my life has been positively impacted from doing these daily practices of mindfulness and thoughts work. Relationships have transformed, I have become more authentic, and few things really stress me out these days. I used to be impatient, felt frustrated, and I doubted myself. Now I am able to turn a difficult day around through doing mindfulness and some thoughts work. The ability to really see what's going on inside myself and having the courage to be honest with myself and others, are added benefits of my new practices.
The practices I shares in this post have been so incredibly helpful to me. They have helped me to be more focused in my work and personal life. I am committed to living my life authentically and fully, and I hope this post will inspire you to do the same.
Until next time, discover life!
Workplace Coherence & Communication Specialist
Executive Leadership Coach